LEAKED documents reveal intense ‘lobby activism’ by fossil fuel players to ‘water down’ UN climate change report
Several fossil fuel-reliant nations, including Saudi Arabia, Australia and Japan, are reportedly lobbying to add “policy neutral” language to a UN report that calls for “urgent and accelerated” efforts to tackle climate change.
More than 32,000 comments have been made by governments, corporations and other interested parties to scientists compiling the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) upcoming report, a “major leak of documents” to Greenpeace UK’s investigative news unit Unearthed shows.
The revelation – which comes days before the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow – offers a glimpse into how some of the world’s largest oil and coal producers and consumers are attempting to “strip” language they find objectionable from the IPCC’s ‘Sixth Assessment Report’ (AR6) scheduled to be released in 2022.
It was expected that they would draw conclusions. “watered down”However, before the final version was published, scientists had leaked an early draft from a section of their report to the internet in August. Among their findings was that coal and gas-fired power stations should be shut roughly within the next decade to keep global warming below 1.5°C and within 16 and 17 years to restrict levels below 2°C.
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Leaked documents show fossil fuel companies pushing back against the IPCC. “technology neutral”Take into account the mitigation effects “carbon capture”technology that can reduce carbon emissions from coal and oil energy sources.
Saudi Arabia, together with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC), account for 40% of the world’s oil supply. They want the report to be removed. “policy neutral”Conclusions, and references to the “phasing out”Of fossil fuels. Saudi Arabia asserts that expressions like “The” are not appropriate. “need for urgent and accelerated mitigation actions at all scales”should be “eliminated”You can find the entire document here.
OPEC demanded the removal of a section analyzing fossil-fuel fuels. “lobby activism”The “activities of powerful interest groups”You can contribute to “delay and sluggishness”Climate change policies. An Australian government official described this section – which details various campaigns by oil and coal companies – as a “political viewpoint made to seem factual”
Elsewhere, the official also apparently recommended that Australia be removed from a list of the world’s major coal producers and consumers – despite the country being the fifth-largest coal producer between 2018 and 2021 – reasoning that it does not consume as much coal as other nations.
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Meanwhile, Japan – a major importer of Australian coal whose energy and transport sectors are hugely dependent on fossil fuels – rejected various findings related to the “lower than was previously thought”Viability of carbon capture technology, which limits carbon emission from industrial sites to the atmosphere, is not sufficient “policy neutral”.
It is possible for governments to revise and amend the section of the report that contains a summary to policymakers. Unearthed reports that the summary of the IPCC’s report contains a variety of scenarios. “substantial reductions in fossil fuel use”And “major investments in low-carbon energy forms”As part of “energy system transformations over the coming decades”
Saudi Arabia objected against the usage of the term “transformation”Argumenting that it is “policy implications by requiring immediate policy actions” It advocated instead “transitioning to low-carbon economies”By “planned interventions”By “various transitioning options”
The IPCC responded to the leak by telling the BBC that the government comments had been central to their scientific review process. However, it stated that the authors were not required to include them. In response to the leak, the IPCC stated that government comments were central to its scientific review process but did not require authors to incorporate them. “processes.. designed to guard against lobbying – from all quarters”.
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UK meat consumption fell by more than a fifth during the past decade. This is despite scientists warning that it must fall faster to reach climate goals.
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